Trimeris Cuts AIDS Drug Sales Forecast, Says New Delivery Method Will Be Delayed
Posted October 12, 2006
MORRISVILLE, N.C. — Shareholders send shares in
down more than 20 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday after the pharmaceutical firm revised downward sales projections for its AIDS drug and said an alternative means of delivering it was being delayed.
Trimeris (Nasdaq: TRMS) shares closed at $9.06, off 21 cents, Wednesday after the two news announcements. But in after-hours dealing the stock dropped another $1.77 to $7.29.
The company did reiterate that it should be profitable in 2006.
Trimeris reduced sales forecasts for the HIV inhibitor Fuzeon to between $126 million and $134 million. Its earlier guidance expected sales of between $140 million and $150 million.
"Slower than anticipated adoption of the newest HIV protease inhibitors has provided less momentum than we expected for boosting new Fuzeon prescriptions, and we have adjusted our guidance accordingly," said Steven Skolsky, chief executive officer of Trimeris, in a statement. "Nevertheless, we believe that the proven contribution that Fuzeon is making toward the achievement of undetectable viral load in treatment-experienced HIV patients will continue to drive future worldwide growth of Fuzeon. We anticipate that this, combined with the improvement we've seen in Fuzeon gross margins will propel the Company to its first profitable year since it began operations in 1993."
Trimeris produces and sells Fuzeon with partner Roche.
Fuzeon is administered by injection, and Trimeris has been developing a needle-free injection device. However, concerns raised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have pushed backed approval of the so-called Biojector by several months, Trimeris said in a separate statement from its sales forecast.
The FDA said a "small number" of adverse effects, such as hematomas and nerve pain, were reported after some 330 people used the Biojector in a trial.